How Alex Honnold Climbed El Capitan With No Rope


English climber Pete Whittaker analyses certain aspects that Alex Honnold needed to complete his free solo ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite via the Freerider route in 2017.

No one, apart from Alex Honnold himself, knows exactly what it took to complete the ground-breaking free solo of Freerider route on El Capitan in Yosemite in 2017. But as Honnold explained yesterday on facebook, this video analysis by Pete Whittaker “actually did a great job.” Indeed, Honnold explains “I thought it was all spot on – a really good explanation of switching between intensities while soloing.”

Whittaker is one of the most versatile climbers of his generation and in the past he has climbed El Capitan rope-solo via Freerider, and has his fair score of free solos. The Englishman is the first to admit that the challenges he faced are far less difficult than Freerider, but the mental and physical process in big free solos is so similar that Honnold concluded “I get asked questions about this kind of thing fairly frequently. From now on I’ll just send a link.”

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